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Lucky Us: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 590 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Lucky Us is a remarkable accomplishment. One waits a long time for a novel of this scope and dimension, replete with surgically drawn characters, a mix of comedy and tragedy that borders on the miraculous, and sentences that should be in a sentence museum. Amy Bloom is a treasure.”—Michael Cunningham

“These two things about Amy Bloom’s surprise-filled Lucky Us are indisputable: It opens with a terrific hook and closes with an image of exquisite resolution. . . . She writes sharp, sparsely beautiful scenes that excitingly defy expectation, and part of the pleasure of reading her is simply keeping up with her. You won’t know where Lucky Us is headed until, suddenly, it’s there. . . . The book’s opening lines, destined to be quoted in many a classroom for their perfection, are: ‘My father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us.’ . . . [It’s] a short, vibrant book about all kinds of people creating all kinds of serial, improvisatory lives. Changes occur because characters fall in and out of love, trouble and, yes, luck. And even when the bad luck is devastating, they dust themselves off and inventively move on.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
 
“Bighearted, rambunctious . . . a bustling tale of American reinvention . . . [a] high-octane tale of two half-sisters who take it upon themselves to reverse their sorry, motherless fortunes . . . If America has a Victor Hugo, it is Amy Bloom, whose picaresque novels roam the world, plumb the human heart and send characters into wild roulettes of kismet and calamity. . . . Love will fizz and fizzle, outrageous lies will be told, orphans will find happiness and heartbreak, and fate will sweep in to drive characters into hellish corners of the world. . . . There are few American novelists writing today who can spin a yarn as winningly. . . . Welcome to America, dear reader. Lucky us.”The Washington Post
 
“Bloom’s crisp, delicious prose gives [Lucky Us] the feel of sprawling, brawling life itself. . . . Lucky Us is a sister act, which means a double dose of sauce and naughtiness from the brilliant Amy Bloom.”The Oregonian

“A tasty summer read that will leave you smiling . . . Lucky Us is about Bloom’s uncanny ability to conjure the tone of the war years—broken hearts held together by lipstick, wisecracks and the enduring love of sisters, come what may.”USA Today
 
“Exquisitely imagined . . . [a] grand adventure.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“Marvelous picaresque entertainment . . . Our heroines’ prospects darken, brighten, and darken again with every turn of Bloom’s cosmic kaleidoscope. Parades of finely drawn characters—a Spanish makeup artist, a black jazz singer afflicted with vitiligo, a lovely Italian nouveau riche family in Great Neck, New York, a soulful German mechanic—enter and leave the scene. . . . To read Bloom’s fiction is to experience afresh how life is ruled by chance and composed of spare parts that are purposed and repurposed in uncanny ways—it’s a festival of joy and terror and lust and amazement that resolves itself here, warts and all, in a kind of crystalline Mozartean clarity of vision.”Elle
 
“A fireworks display of delightful, if sometimes confounding, surprises . . . wildly twisting . . . spryly spontaneous.”The Wall Street Journal
 
“[Bloom] writes with such spare, efficient grace. . . . Her words are carefully chosen to cut clean and deep. . . . Even [her] casual asides stack up, like pearls strung on a wire. . . . Taken together, they make this odd, precocious girl’s story feel as big and small and strangely marvelous as life itself. [Grade] A-”Entertainment Weekly
 
“This coming-of-age story begs for a string of exuberant adjectives: heartbreaking, triumphant, lush and sparkling. . . . The book is fanciful but deep, the world is flawed but beautiful, and Eva can never decide between grief and joy because, it turns out, you can’t: Life is a high-wire balancing act suspended between the two.”More
 
“In Bloom’s masterful hands, this scrappy band of misfits is totally loveable.”Marie Claire
 
“In a relatively small number of pages, she gracefully creates a bustling crowd of characters, many of whom might well star in a novel of their own. . . . Lucky Us is a beautifully textured story of getting by and moving on; of a time when Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s ‘plummy, patrician voice . . . managed to be the voice of people who never spoke that way’; of creating a family from both the people you’re born to and the ones you find along the way. And, most of all, it’s a wickedly warmhearted tale of two very different sisters and their meandering paths through young adulthood; each finding, eventually, her own way home.”The Seattle Times
 
“Bloom’s book beautifully explores the myriad ways in which we define and create the American family, and ultimately how we carve our path when life keeps throwing obstacles in our way. . . . Lucky Us is a beautiful novel with complicated and layered messages about survival, family and obligation, but ultimately it is a novel about hope and possibility, when we finally understand that we are more than the sum of our circumstances.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
 
“A novel of striking emotional depth, proving anew the Chekhovian truth that genuine comedy can be deeply sad.”Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“Imaginative . . . gloriously satisfying . . . These characters are separated by fate and distance, but form a vividly rendered patchwork American family (straight, gay, white, black, citizen, immigrant). Bloom transforms history to create a story of stunning invention, with characters that readers will feel lucky to encounter.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Unrepentantly quirky, a madcap romp complete with road trips, secret identities, aspiring Hollywood starlets, and a tarot card–reading fake psychic . . . At its core, this is a novel of resilience, with the war serving as both a life-changing event and no more than the background noise of an impoverished existence. Full of intriguing characters and lots of surprises . . . readers of literary fiction and twentieth-century historicals, as well as fans of wacky humor, will find it an excellent choice.”Library Journal (starred review)
 
“A multilayered, historical tale about different kinds of love and family. Bloom enlivens her story with understated humor as well as offbeat and unforgettable characters. . . . A hard-luck coming-of-age story with heart.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Lucky Us indeed—another Amy Bloom book. And, if it’s possible, even more powerful and affecting than her last novel, Away. This is a poignant book that manages to be funny, an unflinching portrait that manages to be tender, a tough story that manages to also have jazz and grace. Bloom is a great writer who keeps stepping into new territory, entirely unafraid. She is one of America’s unique and most gifted literary voices.”—Colum McCann

About the Author

Amy Bloom is the author of the bestselling and acclaimed Away; Come to Me, a National Book Award finalist; A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Love Invents Us; and Normal. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5
590 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on May 10, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on September 22, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on August 29, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on August 13, 2014
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Top international reviews

Anne
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't really engage me
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 4, 2016
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Liv
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 17, 2017
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Snapdragon
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky take on WW II America
Reviewed in Australia on April 20, 2018
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Anne Connolly
3.0 out of 5 stars a valuable lesson in family from yesterday.
Reviewed in Australia on September 1, 2015
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Maggie CREEDY
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for devotees of literary fiction.
Reviewed in Australia on April 1, 2015
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KatyK
2.0 out of 5 stars I got about a third of the way through before the boring and unappealing characters and constant tragedy wore me down
Reviewed in Canada on January 13, 2015
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Emily Fitzpatrick
2.0 out of 5 stars Good premise but little follow through
Reviewed in Australia on July 3, 2015
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chellebelle
2.0 out of 5 stars Patchy at best.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 4, 2014
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carol dark
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 15, 2015
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Tricia Baskerville
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Reviewed in Canada on September 19, 2014
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